Christmas Camp (2019 Hallmark)
Cast: Lily Anne Harrison, Bobby Campo, John James
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
To get a promotion, Hayley, an advertising executive who specializes in social media, must land a toy company that is all about traditional Christmas as an account.
Hayley walks around town, holding an obviously empty coffee cup and is very ready for her big promotion. She has to land the Tyler Toys account who LOVES traditional Christma. Hayley is too busy for Christmas and usually spends it in the Caribbean. To adjust her attitude, Hayley’s boss sends Hayley to Christmas Camp to get certified at Christmas.
At Holly Peak Inn (which looks more like a house with a bow on it.) Hayley is given a tour. Including an angel room. The inn owner is a widow and named Ben. (Jeff Colby from Dynasty!!) His handsome son arrives. His name is Jeff, and he helps with the Christmas Camp. He gives her a checklist (more like a scroll) that she will use during her stay. Items include vague works written in a LARGE font: Celebrate, Inspiration, Heart, Spirit, Sharing, Giving, Joy, and Be Merry.
Christmas Camp starts off more like a rehab? Everyone sits in a circle and introduces themselves. There is a couple who have very different ideas of the holiday trying to merge; Gail is trying to get her Christmas mojo back, Divorced John (POC represent!) and his kids, and Hayley, who too focused on getting her certificate and heading back to work! (Women with ambition are the WORST… according to Hallmark.) They take her cell phone, and another camper says, “It feels good, I feel like my phone owns me.” (Phone ruin lives… according to Hallmark.)
Hayley bonds with a dog AND Jeff. They talk about their aspirations with their jobs. He likes to build things, and she loves advertising. Then they go to cut down Christmas trees together. Hayley picks the smallest one and chops it down herself. Then, they decorate the trees, and everyone talks about their feelings and Christmas traditions.
Next up on the checklist, my Hallmark movie checklist that is. A snowball fight happens for no reason. Everyone laughs and throws snowballs barehanded. On the Christmas Camp checklist, they work on giving and go to a local food pantry. Hayley gets inspired and decides on her pitch for Tyler Toys. They GIVEAWAY toys to every child in America for Christmas. GREAT business proposal.
Then they make snow angels check off the “Spirit” portion of the checklist. After they finish, Hayley says, “That was fun!” Jeff asks Hayley on a hot cocoa date. She agrees to go, but just as the date is supposed to happen, Hayley gets a text from work, and she sneaks away to make her proposal. Hayley misses the date, AND Jeff catches her with her phone. He is disappointed in her but is not passing judgment on her choices! (Clearly, he was though.)
Hayley is sooo good at her job, when she learns Christmas Camp isn’t turning around a profit, she pitches Ben an idea to franchise. She agrees to put together a proposal, and Ben asks her not to tell Jeff about their idea. (Which seems like a bad idea!) They may have taken away Hayley’s phone, but she still has her laptop and is working whenever she can.
Jeff and Hayley makeup and go for a walk. They wish in a wishing well (where his parents got engaged, foreshadowing?) Hayley realizes that maybe her family doesn’t really care for Christmas in the Caribbean.
The Christmas campers are preparing for a “normal” Christmas dinner. Everyone goes around the table and says one item they would like on the menu. While getting ready for dinner, Gail tells Hayley that she will download a dating app when she gets her phone back. She is THAT inspired by Jeff and Hayley’s love that hasn’t even admitted yet.
The dinner is lovely, and everyone says what they are grateful for. The couple is thankful for each other and the new baby (No one reacts to this news BTW.), Gail is thankful for her son, John is grateful for his kids, and his kids are thankful for their phones. After dinner, everyone dances, including Jeff and Hayley… with spins and dips.
The party is cut short when Jeff finds the franchise proposal. Ben tells Jeff that he doesn’t want to live in the city in a condo. He loves the Christmas Camp, and it keeps him young. Hayley inserts herself in the conversation, and Jeff is upset with her for being all about work and manipulating his father. He leaves for the city.
Hayley finds out that Jeff has been through a tough break up and is scared of his feelings for Hayley. She packs up her bag because camp is over, and she needs to get back to the real world. Before she goes, she gets the certificate and some advice from Ben, to just give it some time. Hayley also leaves a present for Ben by the tree. (A Santa ornament.)
One week later, back in the real world. Hayley and her boss have a champagne toast because they landed the BIG account. Hayley gets offered a job as a Senior Account Executive. Ben stops by to celebrate because he franchise for Christmas Camp has been successful. He invites Hayley to a party. Hayley grabs her coat and off to the party they go!
Gail is hosting the party and is surprised by her son, who comes home from leave. Also, Jeff shows up at the party and invites Hayley to talk outside. They apologize to each other for the misunderstanding and tell them that they have opened each other’s hearts. They kiss, and it begins to snow. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE, IN JULY…
I know it is July, but this almost got me in the Christmas spirit. It was comforting to watch for sure.
Minority Report: John and his kids, who had more character development than usual for Hallmark.
This movie poster is garbage.
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*Photo Credit: © 2019 Crown Media United States, LLC